Do you have an all season deer hunting parcel? Do you have a parcel that allows you to hunt the target buck you are after, for the majority of the season? If you don't, you are really missing out on opportunities to improve your herd, as well as to drastically improve your hunt. Here are some strategies for why you should be taking advantage of a deer parcel, designed to efficiently maximize, an entire season of whitetail opportunities, and not just a couple of weeks.
Often, you can fit the majority of deer hunting parcels into two categories:
1. "One and Done", make it or break it hunting lands
2. All season hunting parcels
One and Done Hunting Lands:
A typical one and done parcel is created when hunters rely heavily on the peak of the rut for the majority of their mature buck hunting efforts. A hunter may spend a small amount of time sitting during the early season, but with a limited number of stands set to take advantage of a primary funnel or two, many hunters often wait for several weeks to take a seat. I have listened to hunters focus on a particular day of November (the 5th, 9th, 11th, etc), or a particular week of the rut that they feel is the best period of time to enter the woods. Most one and done sits are lacking in quality food, cover, hunter access, hunting strategy or any combination of those deficiencies.
*Would you like to learn how to create an all season deer hunting parcel? Then make sure to check out my recently completely trilogy of whitetail strategy books, including my latest book, "Mature Buck Success by Design", which details how to scout, prepare, forecast for and consistently kill mature bucks.
All Season Deer Hunting Opportunities:
An all season hunting parcel is the type of parcel that I personally build for myself, and what I strongly recommend for my clients to create. An all season chunk of deer potential will provide quality sits, based on the time of the season, from opening day until the bitter (cold) end. All season deer hunting parcels have several common qualities, including: Adequate and consistent cool season food and cover choices from day 1 to day 100, well designed predatory access routes, True Deer Sanctuaries, and an effective non-invasive hunting strategy.
Huge advantages await for hunters of all season deer habitats!
An important question to ask is if you can effectively enter your hunting land during the majority of the season, and have a shot at your target buck. While even the best of parcels may only offer quality target buck opportunities for 80% of the season, they still offer a significant amout of opportunity over a one and done parcel. However, while much better than the 10% offering of a one and done parcel, even an 80% parcel still carries a 20% level of inefficiency. Learning to maximize the potential of your land offers great benefits to your hunting efforts, as well as the herd that you manage. The level of effeciency of your parcel, is reflective of the true potential of your land, to create the best herd and hunt that you can. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Early Opportunity
-If they are "here today", then why not hunt them today? I know some great hunting lands where guys wait until their pre-determined, magical rut timing, to head to a treestand. Often their target buck has already been harvested. A great hunting and habitat strategy should provide opportunites well before the rut takes place, for the harvest of specific, target bucks.
2. Captive Herds
-A parcel that is attractive and easy to hunt the entire season, is The Parcel in the entire neighborhood, that often carries the most influence for the quality of the herd. It is possible for even a parcel as small as 40 acres, to increase the quality of the herd for several hundred acres. The land that attracts the best deer herd during the daylight, is the land that carries the highest potential level of influences to attract, hold, protect, shape and offer harvest, for the local deer herd. Deer do not require a large amount of acreage for their daytime bedding areas, so learning to hold deer within specific bedding areas designed to maximize the number of acres that you manage, is key to your success.
Nocturnal deer? Probably not. Instead, mature bucks that show up in the middle of the night are most likely coming from a great distance away. There are several strategies for creating a parcel that features incredible daytime deer usage. To find out more, make sure to read, "The Myth of Nocturnal Bucks".
3. Ultimate Destiny Control
-Instead of relying on the whims of the rut, the whims of your neighbors and the whims of our unpredictable lives (and the priorities within), an all season deer hunting parcel will allow you to hunt the best days for the entire season, instead of a couple great days during a string of average or worse. Literally, during an entire 3 month season there are typically less than 20 can't miss days to be in the woods, and only a few of those fall during the peak of the rut. By creating an all season hunting parcel you can carry forward a hunting strategy with surgical precision, by hunting the best days, instead of the week you choose on the calendar to take off from work. When you hunt subpar days, you destroy future hunting opportunities for the days that really matter. I like to look at a value for each potential sit, even when comparing a morning hunt to an afternoon sit. My goal is to only hunt days with a value of 7 or above, on a scale of 1-10. Unfortunately there are several times more 1-4 value days, than 7-10 value days. But that's not the only problem! By taking a seat during poor value days, the high value days that follow will not maintain their value, because of the unecessary increase of hunting pressure. By picking and choosing the best day(s) to hunt over a pre-determine period of time on the calendar, you can experience a level of precision in your hunting approach that is hard to imagine, until you try.
Understanding and hunting cold fronts is critical component of successful whitetail hunting. To learn more, check out the video below!
4. Target Buck Precision
-If you create a one and done parcel, it only takes 1 neighbor who understands the game of an all season deer hunting parcel, to annually harvest the majority of the target bucks that you are after, before you even enter the woods. Hunters who harvest their bucks during October, are often hunters who specifically target an individual buck, get to know them personally and go in for the kill when the time is right. Hunters who harvest their bucks during the rut, often need to rely on the whims of rutting whitetails from home or afar, to come randomly cruising by. Although I love all of the sites, sounds and scents of the rut, I personally prefer to take advantage of the level of control that is offered during October hunts, while hunting all season deer hunting parcels.
5. Maximizing Value
-You work extremely hard to not only improve the habitat on the land that you own, but to PAY for the land that you own. Why not enjoy it for 3 months or more? While lightly hunting for 3 months or more, as opposed to heavily hunting for 2 weeks or less, you can learn to maximize hunting and herd success, as well as your investment. But there are some exceptional benefits for lightly hunting over a longer period of time as well! Familiarity of your land, the herd, your neighboring variables and keeping the stress away from family and career are just a few more advantages of maximizing the value of your land.
*If your habitat and hunting strategy is solid, your quality hunting opportunities will begin during the early bow season, and not during the rut. To help begin to develop a plan to start this season off with a bang, make sure to check out, "Consistent Early Season Whitetail Success".
It's not all about the buck, but it sure helps:
An all season deer hunting strategy provides the best of food, cover and low stress levels of attraction for the greatest amount of time, in particular when the local hunting pressure is at it's highest. EVERYONE is hunting during the peak of the rut, often saturing their hunting lands with their hunter scent, site and sound. By lightly hunting the rut as part of an overall hunting strategy of maximizing the entire season will allow for a level of precision that the rest of the hunters in the neighborhood are most likely not taking advantage of. This allows hunters and land managers alike to experience what a true quality herd has to offer, even if your target buck fails to show behind your site pins throughout the season. The majority of the time if you fail to harvest the target buck you are after, you have most likely still positively influenced the local herd with the benefits all season deer hunting parcel. However, one of the greatest aspects of enjoying an all season program is that if you offer a highly attractive parcel the entire season with the ability to hold deer, a target buck that you miss out on this year, has a great chance of being back the next.
-If your land attracts an incredible deer herd the entire season, why not hunt that herd and take advantage of it?
-If your land only offers you the probability of connecting during the peak of the rut, then try making the necessary hunting and habitat strategy adjustments that you need to, to maximize your opportunity.
The bottom line:
You should never have to settle for a one and done hunting parcel. Instead, by working to make your land as efficient as possible in its ability to provide outstanding herd and hunting opportunities for the entire season, you can experience a substantial improvement to your overall potential of whitetail success.